Baby’s first quilt (top)

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

I decided a baby quilt would be a good first quilting project. Big enough to get a feel for all the stages in the process, but small enough that it’s easy to manhandle. As a bonus, the end-user won’t notice if it’s a bit wonky!

In the spirit of making things easy for myself, I got a jelly roll (Kona solids, classic palette). I love bright colours for babies, so I wanted to make a nice, bright quilt. I decided on a variation of the Trip Around the World pattern, using the tutorial at Quiltville – I made each quadrant of the square a different colour.

A lesson I learned (the hard way): do not pre-wash pre-cut fabric. I ended up with what can only be described as a tangled, frayed hot mess! It was awful. Even with pinked edges, the strips still frayed quite a bit. This had consequences for the whole sewing process – fraying changed the width of the strips (only I didn’t notice because I’m a beginner), which meant my squares came out rectangular.

Other things I learned:

  • How to nest seams when sewing squares together
  • When to press seams open
  • The importance of pressing seams at all
  • That a big stack of post-it notes make a very effective seam guide

For all its faults and flaws, I adore the finished top because it’s my first and it fulfilled my goals: to be cheerful, to be functional and to teach me something along the way. Now I need to learn about wadding (next post), basting, quilting and binding. Easy, right?


28 thoughts on “Baby’s first quilt (top)

  1. I always pre-wash. That said. I agree about the tangled mess! The solution? Put all those pieces in a lingerie bag to wash them. Don’t stuff it too full but up to a half is usually ok. Be sure to take them out of the bag before you put them in the dryer – otherwise you end up with some very pressed wrinkles. Your quilt is wonderful!

  2. I know a lady in our quilt guild who uses a salad spinner to wash her smaller pieces, like scraps. Probably wouldn’t work for a jelly roll but might for a charm pack.
    I love the bright colors!

  3. This is beautiful! I love the bright colors for a baby quilt 🙂 And I too always pre-wash. Something my mom has instilled in me. That being said I know many people don’t and some selvages even say not to. No matter what you decide for the future I would suggest always washing your reds! The cheaper fabrics have a tendency to bleed (learned the hard way). I wash mine (and all batiks) with Retayne (purchased at my LQS).

  4. That’s a beginners project, surely you jest! It’s fabulous. Have a look at Elizabeth Hartman and Crazy Mom Quilts blogs – they have fab tutorials on FMQing, binding and using wadding. (I started quilting just before xmas)

  5. Pingback: Which wadding? | Captain StitchyPants

  6. Pingback: Lessons and a WIP (or two) | Captain StitchyPants

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